We’re in silly season right now. With the NFL draft just 4 days away, mock drafts are flying all over the interweb with hot takes. Mock drafts float around the internet getting clicks because we love to read them, regardless of their accuracy. Some pundits are overly confident that they can predict what will actually happen on Thursday night, a major flaw in statistical analysis.
Let’s be honest for a minute. Other than the Browns most likely taking Myles Garrett first overall, the results of the draft are a complete crapshoot that no analyst can accurately predict days before the draft (what Adrian Wojnarowski does during the NBA draft is creepily impressive, but not the same thing as predicting the draft before it begins).
With that idea in mind, I decided to create my own mock draft (which I dub the “Mock Mock Draft”). I don’t pretend to be a scouting expert nor do I have connections in NFL front offices. So I decided to take the approach of surveying the crowd (in this case, other mock drafts) to craft my mock draft. The predictions of experts are usually worthless, but combining experts’ predictions may at times lead to better results. I don’t expect that to happen here, but at minimum, I thought this would be a fun exercise.
I compiled the mock draft results of 46 mock drafts (courtesy of Eat Drink and Sleep Football’s mock draft database) and created my mock draft order by ranking the median of each player’s selection spot from the 46 mock drafts from lowest to highest. Where two players had the same median, the player with the lower average was placed ahead of the other.
Why use the median and not the mean to rank the players? If a mock draft did not list the player, that player received a value of 33 (1 + the number of first round selections) as it indicates the “expert” did not think the player would be drafted in the first round. This slightly distorts the distribution, making the median a more reliable indicator than the mean.
From the 46 mock drafts that I used, 63 players were listed in the first round of at least one mock draft. So if there’s a player that you expect is a first round pick that is not listed here, it may be that you just haven’t wasted enough of your time and need to read more mock drafts. The subset of mock drafts you read may have included that player (I’m thinking of Adoree’ Jackson, Jarrad Davis, DeShone Kizer and the younger brother of J.J. Watt), but there are a good number of mock drafts that did not.
Without further ado, I present below my Mock Mock Draft. Some of these choices are going to be extremely silly, but aren’t all mock drafts?
The Mock Mock Draft
- Cleveland Browns: Myles Garrett, DE, Texas A&M
The only pick in this mock draft I might get right! Though if the rumors are true, the Browns are debating selecting Mitch Trubisky here. Anything could happen with the Browns so it’s also possible that the Browns opt for food at #1.
- San Francisco 49ers: Solomon Thomas, DE, Stanford
Solomon is a tweener. That’s good, it’ll mean he will fit in well in Santa Clara, a tweener city in the Bay Area. I bet he’ll hate Levi’s stadium too, just like everyone else in the Bay Area.
- Chicago Bears: Leonard Fournette, RB, LSU
The first pick that doesn’t make any sense! The Bears have a young running back in Jordan Howard so it’s unlikely they draft Fournette. The only way this happens is if a team freaks out that the Jaguars will take Fournette at #4 and makes a cringe worthy trade to #3. If Fournette goes to the Bears, I predict Leonard will love Leonard’s bakery.
- Jacksonville Jaguars, Jonathan Allen, DT, Alabama
Jacksonville is the 12th largest city in the US. Allen had 12 sacks his junior year. It was meant to be.
- Tennessee Titans, Marshon Lattimore, CB, Ohio State
The Titans acquired this pick from last year’s trade with the Rams. If Marshon Lattimore has a pro career like the other famous Marshawn or the college career of the other Lattimore (except for the knee injuries), I think the Titans will be pleased.
- New York Jets: Jamal Adams, Safety, LSU
- Los Angeles Chargers, Malik Hooker, Safety, Ohio State
This could be a good pick, but it won’t stop the Chargers from being trolled by, well, everyone.
- Carolina Panthers: Mitchell Trubisky, QB, North Carolina
This would be heartwarming. The Panthers select Mitch (oops, I mean Mitchell), just so he doesn’t have to move out of state. Also, the Panthers definitely need to plan for their future past Cam Newton, a 27 year old former MVP.
- Cincinnati Bengals, Derek Barnett, DE, Tennessee
Derek thinks it’s disrespectful to skip bowl games. Playing in his bowl game turned out well, given that he passed Reggie White as the all-time sacks leader in Tennessee history. It’s reasonable to expect a pro career similar to Reggie’s, right?
- Buffalo Bills: O.J. Howard, TE, Alabama
The last time the Bills selected an O.J. in the draft was O.J. Simpson in 1969. How does this O.J. feel about doing Hertz commercials?
- New Orleans Saints: Reuben Foster, LB, Alabama
Foster would be the third Alabama player selected in the first 11 picks. But they still couldn’t stop Clemson?
- Cleveland Browns: Deshaun Watson, QB, Clemson
Speaking of Clemson, Watson would most likely like to fall past here if still available. Also, I’m pretty sure the Browns have taken a QB with their second first round pick before and I don’t think they have turned out well, unless you think Brady Quinn and Brandon Weeden’s combined 33 touchdowns and 35 interceptions was successful.
- Arizona Cardinals: Mike Williams, WR, Clemson
A wide receiver named Mike Williams? This doesn’t bode well (also glad this Mike Williams sets lofty goals).
- Philadelphia Eagles: Christian McCaffrey, RB, Stanford
The Vikings could have drafted the son of Ed McCaffrey, my favorite player in NFL Blitz. Sigh….
- Indianapolis Colts: Corey Davis, WR, Western Michigan
It’s been two years since the Colts selected a wide receiver under the fearless leadership of Ryan Grigson. I fully expect Chris Ballard to add to the Colts’ strongest position behind quarterback in his first draft as GM. Makes perfect sense.
- Baltimore Ravens: Haason Reddick, LB, Temple
All jokes aside, Zachary Orr’s story is incredible and sad. Reddick can fill a hole in the middle of their defense that he left.
- Washington Redskins: John Ross, WR, Washington
Mentee replacing mentor? I like it.
- Tennessee Titans: Dalvin Cook, RB, Florida State
- Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Taco Charlton, DE, Michigan
Will this Taco be a frequenter of the EBDB BnB?
- Denver Broncos: Gareon Conley, CB, Ohio State
The third member of the Ohio State secondary selected in this draft. Given another former Ohio State cornerback first rounder, Bradley Roby, is still trying to crack Denver’s starting lineup, why not pick up another? It’s not like they desperately need offensive line help…
- Detroit Lions: Forrest Lamp, OL, Western Kentucky
The first offensive linemen in a weak OL draft! I love Lamp.
- Miami Dolphins: Ryan Ramczyk, OT, Wisconsin
It’s good that Ramczyk is going to the Dolphins and not the Jaguars nor the Vikings. Otherwise, I would worry that the name on his jersey would constantly be misspelled.
- New York Giants: David Njoku, TE, Miami
It’s no joke how good of a pick this could be and no joke how many puns he will inspire (unfortunately, the N is silent).
- Oakland Raiders: Pat Mahomes II, QB, Texas Tech
Mark Davis didn’t like Derek Carr’s comments about Raiders fans so he decided to draft his replacement. Right… Wonder if either will make it to Las Vegas?
- Houston Texans: Cam Robinson, OT, Alabama
The only other time the Texans drafted an offensive linemen, he gave them 132 career starts in 9 years. Cam is consolation for losing out on the Maverick’s pass-first point guard to CBS, right?
- Seattle Seahawks: Garett Bolles, OT, Utah
The last offensive linemen to be drafted too early. I promise we’re done with the offensive linemen now.
- Kansas City Chiefs: Marlon Humphrey, CB, Alabama
- Dallas Cowboys: Jabrill Peppers, LB/Safety, Michigan
There are a lot of concerns about his ability to play safety or if he has a natural position. As long as he has a career like Orange Julius, it shouldn’t matter.
- Green Bay Packers: Takkarist McKinley, DE, UCLA
McKinley hates being outside and likes to stay indoors, meaning playing at Lambeau eight times a year will be a perfect fit for him.
- Pittsburgh Steelers: Charles Harris, DE, Missouri
- Atlanta Falcons: Kevin King, CB, Washington
The Falcons were close to becoming the reigning Super Bowl champions but they realized they needed the King himself to take the crown.
- New Orleans Saints: Malik McDowell, DT, Michigan State
McDowell thinks he should be a top-5 pick so I had to make sure he didn’t fall out of the first round.